I’m no fan of government regulation, but sometimes it serves a purpose and sometimes it’s an inadvertent subsidy to the manufacturers of over the counter migraine medication. This morning I got yet another ATF error letter in for a transfer to a colleague of mine in another state . . .
He’s a small FFL out west that sells his fair share of guns, but he transacts no NFA business, so he has no SOT. Seems reasonable. The gun control act of 1968 dictates that transactions that cross state lines must have merchandise go TO another licensee (for the purposes of this discussion, FFL and licensee are synonymous) to comply with federal law.
Without an SOT, the transaction is treated as TAX PAID via ATF Form 4 instead of TAX EXEMPT via ATF Form 3. The majority of the transactions I do to others in the industry are on TAX EXEMPT ATF Form 3. Most of the ATF Form 4 transactions to another FFL are an item that is already on existing ATF Form 4’s – like machine guns and silencers coming from a private owner in another state, or transactions like this where he’s decided he’s going to get a shiny new can and it makes no sense for him to pay for a $500 SOT to save $200 in tax liability.
So, this being the smart move, I prepared ATF Form 4s to his business and sent them out to the ATF with a $200 check on his behalf. This was in February of this year.
Processing time sidenote: Things are changing at NFA branch. This past week I got approved forms that were submitted anywhere from September of last year to February of this year. It’s a wide spread, but I see some improvements for taxpayers.
This morning, I got the error letter in. The error letter states that he has to have the local CLEO sign off. I called in and found out that this was from a relatively new examiner. I left a message stating that their understanding of the situation is incorrect and they should stamp the thing approved.
For years, the people of the NFA community have been clamoring for more staff, and this is what you get. More staff that’s not up to speed on technical nuances of interstate transactions. I think this is this what being a teacher is like, only I don’t use red pen.